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By James Cerche
26th April 2013

The Growl rolled into Melbourne’s Workers Club on a grisly Wednesday night to launch their debut record, ‘What Would Christ Do??’ with enough dazzle and swagger to warm the hearts of a strong crowd. Like Pond and Tame Impala before them, The Growl emerged from the close-knit, member-sharing and highly prolific Perth indie scene. This time with Cameron Avery (also known as the drummer from Pond and a co-conspirator in the Allbrook/Avery project) up front, we are treated to a consummate exercise in heavy, soulful, trashcan blues.

Upon arriving at the venue, there was already an air of excitement and electricity. The humble Workers Club had become a miniature Coachella after-party of sorts, following announcements on social media that the globe-conquering crews from Tame Impala and Pond would be attending to support their Perth kin. So it was to the barely masked delight that many punters and starstruck reviewers were able to share the space with some of Australia’s most highly revered musicians of late.


Following competent sets from local supports Demon Parade and Them Bruins, the headliners took to the stage at 11:00pm and left it no more than an hour later. Every second of the sixty minute set maintained a punishing intensity, while their delivery expressed a varied dynamic between the throbbing clatter of the rhythm section (complete with duel drummers) and Avery’s gravel-tongued crooning. The groove was consistently lain down thick and fast, constantly shifting, never to be caught stale. Avery held court with his awe-inducing tenor vocals and funkadelic clapping patterns while his band thundered around him. Blues staple ‘John the Revelator,’ a cover which appears on the album, emerged as a set highlight thanks to a fiery harmonica display and inventive arrangements.

We are treated to a consummate exercise in heavy, soulful, trashcan blues.

For a group whose image is something akin to Lumberjack chic, The Growl are a complex and intricate band capable of relentless surprise and excitement. Dedicated to the Tame boys, current single ‘Liarbird’ was a warm and charming, the wolf howl vocal hook proving even more infectious and joyful when experienced live. Album opener ‘Eleven’ went down a treat and resurrected favourite ‘Cleaver Leaver’ provided a blistering finale.

The Growl presented themselves as a truly muscular force, capable of devastation, delicacy, imagination and heart. Inevitable comparisons with The Black Keys aside, there is a strong identity here that stands proudly beside the growing legacy of the Perth scene and this band deserves some serious attention.

BAND: The Growl
MEMBERS: Cameron Avery
James Ireland
Clinton Oliver
Marc Earley
Michael Jelinek
Samuel Kuzich
FORMED: 2011
FROM: Perth
SOUND: Garage Rock
FACEBOOK: legrowl
TWITTER: @thegrowlmusic
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